While I love and celebrate Buy Nothing Day, I’m not at all against gift giving during the holiday season. I just don’t like wasteful, un-eco-friendly, useless, will-break-tomorrow crap that gets passed off as “gifts.” Yet the holiday pressure to keep buying this type of stuff seems to break the willpower of eco-thinking shoppers who know better.
>> Scrooge has a bad rep, but simply buying fewer crappy gifts won’t make you a scrooge. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon interviewed Joel Waldfogel, author of Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays — and she doesn’t want you to be put off by the title:
The book is no polemic; it’s a study in retail trends, spending and debt habits, and a simple call for a better use of our money than Itty Bitty Book Lights for people we barely know.
I’m not at all against the kind of giving that’s organic…. I think people should go on giving to the people they know well. Sometimes givers find transcendent, wondrous things. It’s the obligatory I’m opposed to.
With no fees or dues, DA offers group sessions, dial-in meetings, phone mentoring and live online groups. And though DA doesn’t work for everyone, its adherents call it a salvation.
The global financial crisis of 2008 was the first large-scale acknowledgement that unsustainable consumer debt lies at the core of Western economies. And with empty malls and bankrupt retailers piling up at the end of the millennium’s first decade, it’s clear that, in an age of climate change and energy anxiety, consumers themselves are a diminishing resource.
Consider the average microwave oven: It comes in a cardboard box, wrapped in a plastic bag, sandwiched with at least four chunks of Styrofoam and bubble wrap.
Images courtesy of press.princeton.edu and us.macmillan.com